2011 NFL Draft Grades | Tennessee Titans
The 2010 season was a major disappointment for the Titans, who struggled with inconsistent quarterback play on their way to a 6-10 season. Longtime head coach Jeff Fisher was then sent packing.
Enter former offensive line coach Mike Munchak, who was tabbed as the team’s new head coach on February 7th. The team is in dire need of a true franchise savior at quarterback, and they hope to have landed one with their first pick in the draft.
Round 1, Pick 8: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
Locker may well have been the No. 1 overall pick had he come out after last season, but opted to return for his senior season with the Huskies. He struggled at times with his accuracy, but his physical tools proved too much for the Titans to ignore.
He’ll have plenty of help out of the backfield with the dynamic Chris Johnson on his side, but he’ll need his receivers to make big plays in order to really succeed as a starting NFL quarterback.
I was surprised to see Locker taken ahead of Blaine Gabbert, and the expectations will be very high. Tons of potential here, though.
Round 2, Pick 39: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
There was an outside chance that Ayers could’ve snuck into the first round, but the Titans strike on him at No. 39 overall. He’s an extremely athletic outside linebacker that excels rushing the passer.
The Titans’ defense has struggled the past couple of seasons, and they’ve been lacking a real difference maker that can wreak havoc in the backfield.
Ayers certainly has the ability to become that guy.
Round 3, Pick 77: Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
Tennessee has struggled on the interior of the D-line since Albert Haynesworth left for D.C., and they’re hoping Casey can help fill the void.
Casey is very quick off the snap, and is strong enough to collapse the offensive line by himself. The Titans’ defensive tackles weren’t terrible before, but adding a guy with Casey’s ability could prove to be just what the doctor ordered.
Round 4, Pick 109: Colin McCarthy, ILB, Miami (FL)
The Titans go defense with their third straight pick, electing to take Miami’s Colin McCarthy.
McCarthy is a guy with the speed to cover the field sideline-to-sideline, and was a tackling machine during his time at Miami. He could prove to be a very good value pick in the fourth round.
Round 4, Pick 130: Jamie Harper, RB, Clemson
The Titans drafted Javon Ringer a couple of years ago, but perhaps they felt as though they needed a better complement to Chris Johnson.
Unlike CJ, Harper doesn’t have great speed, but he is a big, bruising back that does most of his damage running between the tackles and through the teeth of a defense.
He was a very productive player alongside C.J. Spiller during his time at Clemson, so maybe the Titans had that combination in mind when opting for Harper.
Round 5, Pick 142: Karl Klug, DL, Iowa
Klug has been classified by some as an “overachiever” during his time at Iowa, but the Titans need all the help on the D-line they can get.
He’s big enough to play defensive tackle and cause problems for an offense up the middle, but he’s also quick enough to line-up at defensive end and make his way to the quarterback.
Round 6, Pick 175: Byron Stingily, OT, Louisville
Stingily isn’t a guy that will come in and contribute right away, but he could serve as a serviceable backup/replacement when necessary.
Offensive tackle is another position at which you can never have too much depth.
Round 7, Pick 212: Zach Clayton, DT, Auburn
Clayton is a far cry from his counterpart at defensive tackle, Nick Fairley, but he’s shown consistently solid ability throughout his collegiate career.
He won’t blow you away in any area, but there’s a chance he turns into a decent rotation defensive lineman at some point during his NFL career.
Round 7, Pick 251: Tommie Campbell, CB, California (Pennsylvania)
Campbell is very tall for a corner, but is still extremely raw, as well.
Total project pick here late in the draft.
Overall Grade: B+